HEALTH CANADA MUST PULL UP ITS SOCKS: Safety issues for prescription drugs take up to 2 years to be released to the public

OTTAWA — The NDP’s deputy health critic Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Beauharnois-Salaberry) blasts Health Canada for its lax policies and practices when identifying and communicating potential risks associated to prescription drugs, as emphasized in the auditor general’s report.   

According to the AG’s report, Health Canada takes up to 2 years to divulge safety risks related to the use of new drugs. New democrats urge the government to be more proactive and to ensure that this information be released to healthcare professionals and doctors immediately and transparently.

« All Canadians are concerned with health risks related to prescription drugs and they want to be informed, emphasizes Ms. Quach. I think Canadians deserve a more transparent and efficient mechanism for evaluating drug safety issues. When it comes to people’s health, claiming ignorance just doesn’t cut the mustard. »

Furthermore, the Conservatives refuse to consider any information or data provided by other countries regarding the side effects of drugs. With its relatively small population, Canada doesn’t have sufficient test cases to thoroughly determine all risks. To be safe, it is necessary to broaden our statistical basin by consulting our international partners.  

« This government acts as if Canada were in a vacuum, affirms the NDP MP. Our partners and neighbours face the same issues, and not using all the information at our disposal is irresponsible».